U.S. Switch to Metric System

Topics: Metric system, Units of measurement, United States / Pages: 10 (2407 words) / Published: May 19th, 2013
The United States Should Switch to the Metric System
One crucial, yet widely unnoticed issue plagues the United States of America today: the country simply faces a stubborn unwillingness to convert to the metric system. America spends millions of dollars on keeping the U.S. customary system in place. The refusal to convert hinders the country’s progress in the global economy. A conversion failure even sent a poor satellite hurtling towards destruction on the surface of Mars (Wheeler). The United States needs to convert to the metric system as soon as possible.
The metric system consists of a decimal system containing units of volume, mass, temperature, and length in liters, grams, degrees Celsius, and meters. It stands as, by far, the most widely used unit system in the world. Gabriel Mouton of France created the original metric system in 1670 (MacLeod). The system spread through most of Europe by the mandate of Napoleon Bonaparte during his reign as Emperor of France (MacLeod)(Appendix A). Since the beginning of America, people campaigned to use the metric system instead of the Customary System, which the United States inherited from Britain. Two of America’s presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams, endorsed the metric system in the early years of the United States, but despite their efforts, they never managed to convert the country (Chapman). Later, in the 20th century, movements such as the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 and the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 were passed with the intention of enforcing the metric system. Today, the metric system has still not been established in America, despite multiple attempts to do so.
The fight for the metric system has been occurring for hundreds of years, which seems like enough time for congress to pass at least one piece of legislation regarding the issue. Two hundred years ago, George Washington, the first president of the United States, articulated his desire for “uniformity in currency,

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